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Singer & Friedlander Cs an opportunity

Singer & Friedlander is offering C shares in the Singer & Friedlander Aim 3 venture capital trust.

This VCT was established in 2001,raising £32.99m, It followed the original Singer & Friedlander Aim VCT in 1998 and the second Aim VCT in 2000. The range of three VCTS allows Singer & Freidlander to make larger investments in Aim companies, and some Ofex companies, through co-investment with the other VCTs in the range.

The money raised by this share issue will initially be invested in gilts and other fixed-interest securities managed by Singer & Friedlander. It will then go into suitable Aim companies. However, 20 per cent of the portfolio will remain in gilts and other fixed-interest securities.

The VCT investment management team use a bottom-up approach and visit around 300 companies a year. They look at the management, products, finances and valuations of the companies in the AIM market. Current holdings in the Aim 3 VCT include medical support services group Synergy Healthcare, restaurant operator Prezzo and Glisten, a sweet manufacturer.

Market statistics from the London Stock Exchange show the FTSE Aim index rose by 4 per cent between January and August 2004. Although the market has left behind its record low of 365.85 points last February, its level at the end of August this year was still far off the highs of 2000, which saw the index almost reach 3,000 points.

This shows there is still potential growth opportunities for investors who are looking to make use of the new VCT tax incentives.

The advantage of this VCT over new entrants to the market is that like the Isis baronsmead VCT range, it has a track record and provides access to an established portfolio of companies.

Although Aim companies tend to be less risky than completely unquoted companies, Aim VCTs have less diversity than VCTs which can invest in unquoted companies at any stage of development.

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